Poll shows parents delaying first dental visits for children

A February 2018 poll showed that 55 percent of parents were not prompted by a medical professional about when to start dental visits for their children, leading them to believe the appointments should start at 2-3 years old.

The statistics come from a national poll on children’s health from C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The researchers received responses from 790 parents who had at least one child 5 years old or younger.

Of the parents polled, 40 percent said their child had not visited the dentist yet with the majority of them saying they believed their child was too young. The American Dental Association recommends a child’s first dental visit taking place after the first tooth appears. At the latest, a child should see a dentist by their first birthday.

The researchers suggest that medical professionals take the time to explain the importance of dental visits for children, specifically those who cater to low-income families who do not schedule as many doctor appointments.

For more information on first dental visits, go to mouthhealthy.org.

© 2018 American Dental Association. All rights reserved. Reproduction or republication is strictly prohibited without the prior written permission from the American Dental Association.

This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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